Sunday, February 2, 2014

Oh, like I needed another project!

I've finally managed to get two or three TechShop classes under my belt. Which gives me access to new tools and methods. And also gives me yet more skills to try to develop and maintain.

I'm really tempted as a practice project on the metal lathe to run off an M40 grenade; that's the distinctive one from the James Cameron action/SF film Aliens.

I've found a nicely dimensioned drawing. Most of the cuts are straight-forward. There are a few exceptions of course.

The best option I've found for the plastic cap is 8 pounds worth (sterling, not avoirdupois.) A stick of aluminium rod stock (7/8", 2011 alloy) is under six bucks. There is however a bit of knurling (in the original, it was a crimp) that could be interesting to fabricate. And then since I'm crazy, the dimensioned drawing I have includes how to do the spring-loaded button and a "primer cap" with press-fit inserts. Which could task my current ability to cut accurate holes.

For that matter, I'm not even sure exactly how you best approach a wide internal cut. I only learned how to start off an edge! So the first stop might be to purchase the recommended book on machining and read up a little...

I have two other TechShop projects in the wings already. I'm pretty set now on laser-cutting a third panel of tinted acrylic to give the "Jedi" Holocron a nice depth when I light it from within. Maybe tonight I'll throw some of the electronics together and see how they work. I need to schedule extra time when I go in to cut, because I have yet to go through importing vector art into Illustrator and prepping it to cut. TechShop has lots of licensed copies and a bank of machines you can walk in and use...oh, but they are all PCs, which isn't a show-stopper with me but does mean I might need just a little more time.  And then there's a long waiting list on the lasers, up to a week to be able to reserve a slot on them.

At least for my other project -- a small repair to my rack-mount Sennies -- I won't have to wait in line for the machines. It's just a quick bit of cold saw and drilling, and I already have the steel stock here.

All of these may have to hold a little, though, because those same Sennies are going out for rental soon. Or not. I wouldn't mind the money at all, but I also wouldn't mind having them for my next show, which is going into tech in a week. I've been working the last few days doing inventory and cleaning and testing and I'm going to be pushing to have enough of their mics working again by the time the show starts.

And even more on the long list of projects; I almost wore my new pants last night (they were clean, and they are black, which is more than I can say for anything else I own). But at the last minute I decided the zipper really needs to be reset, and I might as well fix the waistline while I'm at it -- so I threw them back on top of the sewing box.

Ah, so many things to do, so little energy in which to do them! I have no decent clothes, and I'm doing all these period shows anyhow, and I have dreams of making a complete "period" outfit (aka, about as authentic to any specific period Victorian through 1920 as one of the Doctor's outfits). But at the current state of my sewing, the idea of a frock coat is nothing but frightening.

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